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Routes in Mt Stuart

Cascadian Couloir T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Direct North Ridge w/ Gendarme, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Girth Pillar 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a WI2 Steep Snow
Gorillas Direct T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Gorillas in the Mist T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Easy Snow
Ice Cliff Glacier AI2-3 Steep Snow
King Kong - Gorillas Direct Direct T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Sherpa Glacier T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
South Headwall T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Stuart Glacier Couloir T WI2 M5
Upper North Ridge w/Great Gendarme T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
West Ridge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 900 ft, 8 pitches
FA: September 2016 - Sol Wertkin, Tyree Johnson, FFA Sol Wertkin.
Page Views: 775 total · 40/month
Shared By: Sol Wertkin on Oct 21, 2016
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Description [Edit]

King Kong begins on the original four pitches of Gorillas in the Mist before moving L (GITM moves R) on the major ledge system splitting the wall. It continues up the next two pitches of the Gorillas Direct route before moving R and finishing up direct via a steep headwall. The route in it's entirety is described here.

Please refer to the link to the blogpost at the bottom of this description for complete details on the history of these routes and lots of photos.

P1 - 5.10+ Begin up the obvious hand and finger crack/splitter, starting on a small ledge 15-25 feet above the snow or talus accessed by a short scramble. From the mantle above the splitter move past a tree onto another ledge and up a short corner to a chimney then the belay (beta: from the ledge above the mantle clip into the tat around a tree and use the extra rope to hand-haul shoes/jackets/water). 40m

P2 - 5.9+ Move L, up hanging corners, around multiple aretes, to a short wide au cheval. Continue up then L through an exposed crack traverse, skip the bolted belay and continue moving L on a slab to a short face crux before continuing L to belay at a large slung pillar (some may split this up into two pitches due to rope management). 55m

P3 - 5.10- "The Monkey Traverse." Move up the corner of the pillar eventually launching up and R traversing an exposed horizontal crack. Belay at the end of the traverse on a large slopey ledge. 20m

P4 - 5.9 Head up, then slightly L into a V-slot. Continue up moving first L then R then back L via finger cracks and stemming features. Be careful with rope management. Belay at the large midway ledge of the wall. 60m (the original Gorillas in the Mist heads R a full rope length from this midway ledge to moderate 5.8 cracks).

P5 - 5.10 Move the belay 25 ft L to the base of the striking corner crack. An initial crux off the ground leads to the aesthetic corner which is followed to a good belay ledge. 30m

P6 - 5.10+ Climb up the stouter then it appears short corner crack manteling to a good ledge. Continue up the crack onto a slab. Eventually making a R to L traverse with sparse pro before continuing up a corner crack and a final traverse R at the top of the corner to a two pin belay which can be backed up by RP's. 55m.

P7 - 10+ "Fifth Avenue." Climb the corner and bulge above. From above the bulge move R then back L to an aesthetic stem-box (it will be standard simply to stay in the corner once this short section has been cleaned). From the end of the stem-box continue on up and slightly R via steep juggy climbing with spaced pro to a two-bolt anchor which can be backed up with RP's. 40m

P8 - 11+ "The Empire State Building." The dramatic headwall splitter begins up slabby cracks and blocks moving into solid vertical tombstone flakes. From the flakes move L into a hand and finger crack eventually moving back R into the main splitter which is followed via sustained climbing to a final sting-in-the-tail crux pulling the lip. (As of September 2016 there are two small fixed nuts on this pitch and a couple old aliens atop the headwall at an ok belay stance. There is a more comfy large ledge a few feet further but this lower belay allows the leader to view their partner struggle up the headwall). 55m

Scramble up a short 5th class pitch to the top of the wall.

Continue up the W Ridge to the summit or descend down the lower W Ridge. The quickest descent down follows the main gully of the W Ridge via scrambling and down-climbing before being able to break skier's R on a large bench. Make a single rope rappel from fixed tat. Continue downclimbing until moving skier's R via the 2nd break in the main ridge out R. Continue downclimbing via easing terrain to the bivy sites at Stuart Pass.

Details of the first ascents of Gorillas in the Mist, Gorillas Direct, and King Kong can be found on my blog here:…

Location [Edit]

Splitter crack on the West Face Wall between Goat and Stuart Pass.

Protection [Edit]

At a minimum a standard alpine trad rack: single blue alien/purple TCU, dbls from green alien to #2, single #3, #4. Single set of nuts. (extra .5-#4 for those unwilling to runnout the headwall splitter)


Nick Sweeney
Spokane, WA
Nick Sweeney   Spokane, WA
Way to go, Sol!! Oct 21, 2016
Everett WA
michal   Everett WA
Splitter!! Oct 22, 2016
Jon Nelson
Bellingham, WA
Jon Nelson   Bellingham, WA  
Indeed, sounds fantastic.

Thanks for the complete write-up. The blog link has lots of nice photos. Oct 22, 2016
Jon Nelson
Bellingham, WA
Jon Nelson   Bellingham, WA  
As this title has three names for two routes (even though one is a variation of the other, and both are variations of a third), you might add a second listing for the variation and reduce the bulkiness of the title.

There is plenty of space here on Mt. Project for giving each variation its own listing. It's fine if much of the text is copied (i.e., self-plagiarized). Oct 25, 2016

More About King Kong - Gorillas Direct Direct